Big Brother (U.S.) is an American reality television show in which a group of people called “House Guests” (usually anywhere from 12-14 people) are cut off from the outside world and compete for up to three months for the chance to win $500,000. Big Brother has been on the air for thirteen seasons (now renewed for it’s fourteenth) and is hosted by Julie Chen. Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan are the producers.
Big Brother US first aired in 2000. HouseGuests are locked in the house for three months and compete weekly for power and luxuries. The Big Brother house has hundreds of cameras and microphones that watch and listen to the HouseGuests.
Each week, one HouseGuest wins the title of “Head of Household” or “HOH”. The HOH has the power to nominate two people for eviction. HouseGuests then compete for food and other luxury prizes. The Have-Have Not competition splits the HouseGuests into different teams who compete for food. The winners are able to eat anything they want, take warm showers, and sleep in comfortable beds. The losers (Have-Nots) are put on slop, take cold showers, and sleep in a uncomfortable room. After the nominees are chosen, six houseguests (the HOH, nominees, and three people selected by random draw) compete for the Power of Veto. The veto gives the HouseGuest (depending on who it is) the power to take themselves off the block, take another person off the block, or keep nominations the same. If a person is vetoed, the HOH then has to replace that person with another HouseGuest. HouseGuests then vote for who they want to be evicted. If there is a tie, the HOH decides who leaves. This process repeats until there are three people left standing.
On finale night, the final HOH competition is played by the two people who won the HOH Part 1 & 2 competitions. The winner of this HOH is guaranteed a spot in the final two and at least $50,000. The HOH decides which HouseGuest is evicted. That HouseGuest joins the jury (the last seven evicted HouseGuests ). The jury interrogates (as in asks them questions) the final two and decides who they want to win. Each jury member is allowed to say something to both HouseGuests and vote for who they want to win by placing that person’s key into the nomination wheel. The person with the most votes is the winner of Big Brother and takes home the $500,000 grand prize and the runner-up gets $50,000.
Big Brother 1 - Eddie McGee
Known as Big Brother 2000, it was the first season of the American version of Big Brother. Each week the the 10 HouseGuests would nominate other HouseGuests for banishment. The two with the most nominations were put up for banishment and then the public voted. Unlike other seasons, HouseGuests did not compete against each other for food or power. They had to do tasks of endurance and skill to earn rewards.
Big Brother 2 - Will Kirby “Dr. Will”
Big Brother 2 aired in the summer of 2001. This season marked a drastic change in Big Brother’s format. 12 HouseGuests now competed against each other. The public could no longer vote to banish HouseGuests. Instead, they competed to become Head of Household (HoH). This person was given a separate bedroom and the power to nominate two people for eviction. HouseGuests also competed for food and the losers were put on a peanut butter and jelly diet. The evicted HouseGuests would then all come back and vote for the winner of Big Brother.
Big Brother 3 - Lisa Donahue
Big Brother 3 aired in the summer of 2002 and had a total of 12 HouseGuests. In this season, HouseGuests could now compete for the Power of Veto. The winner of the veto could veto a HouseGuest nominated for eviction. They could not use this power on themselves until the Golden Power of Veto was introduced.
Big Brother 4 - Jun Song
Big Brother 4 aired in the summer of 2003 with 13 HouseGuests. This season was known as “The X-Factor” as five pairs of exes were brought into the house unknowingly. The Golden Power of Veto replaced the Power of Veto officially in this season. A jury of seven would also now decide the winner of Big Brother. This jury was sequestered and was only able to see competitions, veto and nomination ceremonies, and evictions.
Big Brother 5 - Drew Daniel
Big Brother 5 aired in the summer of 2004 with 14 HouseGuests. This season’s twist was called Project Do Not Assume or Project DNA. It had two parts: a pair of half-siblings who didn’t know they were related and a pair of identical twins who switched places. Only six players could now participate in the veto competition. Backdooring originated during this season. It occurs when a HoH puts up two people they don’t want to be evicted, up for nomination. The winner of the veto then uses the veto to save a HouseGuest and the HoH replaces him/her with their intended threat. Also, another twist was Double Elimination Week. It was a two weeks of Big Brother wrapped into one week, resulting the eviction of two HouseGuests. It was also the last season with the original floor plan of the House.
Big Brother 6 - Maggie Ausburn
Big Brother 6 aired in the summer of 2005 with 14 HouseGuests. The Big Brother House was totally remodeled. The twist of this season was called the “Summer of Secrets”. Each HouseGuest had a secret partner and if both made it to the final two, the winner would win $1 million and the runner up $250,000. America’s Choice was introduced this season. It allowed the public to vote on which evicted HouseGuest they wanted to return to the game.
Big Brother 7: All-Stars - Mike “Boogie” Malin
Big Brother: All Stars aired in the summer of 2006 with 14 former HouseGuests. 20 potential candidates fought for America’s vote to win a seat in the Big Brother All Star house. The top four male and female candidates who received the highest amount of votes would become HouseGuests along with six others the production team chose. The house’s theme was called “A House of Extremes” which had large neon flames, gothic designs, and definitions of emotions printed on the walls. Slop replaced the peanut butter and jelly diet. The Coup d’état was also introduced. The holder of this power could replace the HoH’s nominations at any time.
Big Brother 8 - “Evel” Dick Donato
Big Brother 8 aired in the summer of 2007 featuring 14 HouseGuests. The house was decorated in an Alice in Wonderland theme. There were two twists in this season: three people had “enemies” and a HouseGuest called America’s player was given instructions by America in which they were forced to carry out. The famous unitard which introduced this season.
Big Brother 9 - Adam Jasinski
Big Brother 9 was the only Big Brother season to be aired in the winter (of 2008) after a writer’s strike. It featured 16 HouseGuests who were paired up with a soulmate and the pairs shared HoH and Power of Veto wins and were evicted together (until Week 3). The season was called, “Til Death do you Part” and the house was decorated with an outdoors theme. Two evicted HouseGuests returned to the house.
Big Brother 10 - Dan Gheesling
Big Brother 10 aired in the summer of 2008 with 13 HouseGuests. The season was “Back to Basics” with no big twists. Live audiences were introduced for the Thursday eviction shows. The HouseGuests were all complete strangers. It was the first and only season to have a unanimous vote winner.
Big Brother 11 - Jordan Lloyd
Big Brother 11 aired in the summer of 2009 with 13 HouseGuests. The house was eco-friendly themed. The season’s twist put the HouseGuests into four high school cliques: athletes, brains, offbeats, and popular. If someone from their clique won HoH, they were safe from eviction. It was the first season to feature Pandora’s Box. America also served as a juror after a HouseGuest was expelled. It also featured the Coup d’état.
Big Brother 12 - Hayden Garret Moss
Big Brother 12 aired in the summer of 2010 with 13 HouseGuests. The twist was the Big Brother Saboteur, who’s mission was not to win the grand prize, but to perform certain tasks to win $50,000. A second saboteur was introduced after the first one was evicted the first week.
Big Brother 13 - Rachel Reilly
Big Brother 13 aired in the summer of 2011 with 8 new HouseGuests and 6 returning HouseGuests. It was the summer of three Dynamic Duos. Each HouseGuest was paired with another, in which they competed for HoH and PoV. They were also nominated in pairs. The surviving HouseGuest won a golden key, which kept them safe until the final ten. This was again re-introduced later in the season when Pandora’s box was opened.